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BRM and Scaleauto


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#1 Michael Jr.

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 09:15 AM

I'm just discovering these manufactured cars that have foam tires available for racing wood tracks.

Anyone have some testimonials or maybe I'm just late coming to realize these exist?

Honestly, these were what I thought I was getting into when I first started. Then I learned manufactured cars are for toy tracks and flexi cars are for real men.

Now.....I might be learning otherwise. There is some serious racing I'm seeing (in the last hour) with these cars. They look good, can hold the a lot on a wood track, and come virtually RTR.

So...... Do I add this class if race car? If so, how do I organize it, what do I call it, where do I buy them?

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#2 Tex

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 09:26 AM

Your local racers will dictate whether or not you add it as a racing class. If they are unfamiliar with the cars, all YOU can do is buy a couple and let them see them and drive them... THEY will decide if they want to race them. Alan Smith is the U.S. distributor, I believe... 132slotcar.net or somesuch URL.


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#3 John Miller

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:41 AM

Thazer Raceway in South Bend, Indiana races BRM cars. I believe they turn down the voltage and run them with stock tires. I was told they handle very well and are a blast to race.
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#4 tonyp

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:53 AM

When I moved down to Florida the BRM class was big at several shops. They ran them stock except for gear and rear tire changes. All went well until one of the shops decided to get greedy and open up the rules to different motors, cutting up the chassis to lighten them etc.. The group of 25 regulars dwindled every week until the class was over. Of course that shop eventually ran itself out of business but the damage was done.

What I observed is the racers in this class are a different breed and enjoyed racing the cars without a new speed secret every week. I think is is a good class and there is palace for it...


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#5 eshorer

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 11:10 AM

I think Tex makes an excellent point. You can try to guide your customers to particular classes of cars by stocking those cars and parts, and by excluding other types of cars. I raced BRM cars on a team in a 24 hour race at Alan's track in Tacoma, and they were a blast. They look great, and would appeal to those who have the money to spend on cars that require tuning, more than building. But they did feel underpowered, and don't handle like the scratchbuilt hardbody cars we run at Buena Park Raceway. It's that fine combination of what your customers want, and what you're passionate about. Get in touch with Alan at the ScaleRacing Center to get an earful of passion. 

Eddie


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#6 Tex

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:03 PM

We have a contingent of BRM and Scaleauto racers here in north Texas. Because the cars are essentially spec cars, the competition is SO close. It's the close competition, not outright SPEED, that keeps us coming back for more. Imagine... racing slot cars that look like the real thing... what a novel idea! Of course, this has been the norm for 1/32 plastic track racing for a loooong time, but 1/24 is easier to see.  LOL    Dallas Slot Cars is doing their part in promoting these new classes.


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#7 Uncle Fred

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:10 PM

Tony, you hit it right on! 

 

Sadly it happens all the time.


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#8 Cheater

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:28 PM

Yeah, the same old Pogo truism: 'We have met the enemy and he is us."


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#9 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:48 PM

But they did feel under-powered, and don't handle like the scratch built hardbody cars we run at Buena Park Raceway.

 

 

Eddie,
 
Do the BRM handle better or worse than the scratchbuilt hardbodies that you run?


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#10 cdtanner

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:57 PM

We run the Scaleauto and BRM cars on our club track. I would say the Scaleautos are more fun/easier to drive than the BRM cars. The Scaleauto cars are our favorite slot car class of any kind.


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#11 MG Brown

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:59 PM

I haven't raced BRM cars in some time so I am not the best source for information.

 

I did want to point out that IIRC, both BRM and Scaleauto come with solid neoprene (?) tires in the kits and that the foam tires must be purchased separately.

 

I'd agree with the above advice to K.I.S.S. with the rules; from what I have observed there are a small number of racers who want "more liberal" rules/mods. Usually once the rules are opened up, they are the ones killing the rest of the field and people start dropping out because they perceive that they have no chance whatsoever to win or at least place/show.

 

I would advise if you have enough interest to divide the racers into "A" and "B" groups with the "A" being more experienced.


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#12 S.O. Watt

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:42 PM

I race both BRMs and SAs, also, along with about anything that can be raced on a slot track and is slow enough for my eyesight. I started with these after a brief stint in a 24 hour enduro ( ;) ) at Scale Racing Center of Tacoma Wa.
 
I am in agreement of the KISS principle when applied to these cars. They are definitely not a beginners class, mainly due to the expense. The addition of foam, solid silicone, or Sili-foam tyres adapts them very well to a variety of track surfaces. Also being able to adjust the track power is beneficial and helps reduce carnage and resulting car damage (which can be expensive).
 
I'm currently racing with a FB group, Arizona Slot Car Racing Assoc., down here in AZ that embraces them along with a multitude of 1/32 hardbodies, most of which I'm completely clueless about. 
 
I can only recommend very minor modifications to these cars, again the KISS principle.

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#13 Tim Neja

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:17 PM

I agree with Tony and others--if you limit ANY modifications to perhaps gears and tires, you will have a class that lasts much longer than an all out war for more speed.  The racers that love these cars love them because they look REAL--not because their the fastest car in the box.  I'm with Tom--I'll race ANYTHING!! :)  And BRM'S can be made to handle pretty well and be very close in performance.  Fun stuff is all you need for a good class!


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#14 eshorer

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 05:29 PM

 

 

Eddie,
 
Do the BRM handle better or worse than the scratchbuilt hardbodies that you run?

Matt,

There's a wide-range of scratchbuilt hardbody cars we run, from inline, to sidewinder and anglewinder, and from old jalopies to NASCAR to CanAm Group C. Still, I'd say the scratchbuilt tend to handle much better, especially given the fact that we're running faster motors. 


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#15 sportblazer350

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 05:36 PM

I have raced both BRM and Scaleauto since the BRM cars were introduced, on both plastic and commercial tracks. Out of the box: I prefer the Scaleautos, with their foam rubber rears (choose hard or softer compounds, depending on how much spray glue you use on the track surface) perform fantastic, vs the BRMs which need a lot of tuning to work well. BRMs are designed to be raced on plastic tracks with traction magnets, and have to be adapted to a commercial track. Both brands have a lot of detail and are real Scale model cars.

 

   Look around the 1/24 forums as their is a lot of Scale Hardbody racing going on, with BRM, Scaleautos, H&R Racing, and other types of chassis using plastic model kit bodies, and all perform well.    


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#16 Dennis David

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 07:00 PM

I race Scaleautos and they are great though you're looking at an almost $200 outlay with spong tires.

They are better out of the box than BRMs but BRMs have some great body styles.
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#17 n9949y

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 08:45 PM

ScaleAuto works better on our club track

 

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#18 Dennis David

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 08:54 PM

Since most places race Scaleauto stock this is not a problem but if you look at chassis that are a level above Scaleauto they use a motor box that keeps the axle and moter in alignment and pivots the chassis at three points similar to a NSR or ironically a Scaleauto 1/32 pod. They use springs and torsion bars to handle flex. Why Scaleauto didn't just scale up their 1/32 chassis in metal I have no idea.

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#19 Dennis David

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 08:59 PM

The motor is under powered. I am trying a Slot.it in my Scaleauto just for grins. Personally I would keep stay under 25k for this chassis. The D3 cars are much faster than the Scaleautos, mostly because of the motor and the lighter body.

You could make this type of car go faster but then you are talking about a $350 - $400 car but there is no denying they are pretty to look at.

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#20 tonyp

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 03:43 PM

When I first came to Florida there was a giant BRM class run at a couple of shops. Family’s racing and having fun. They ran them stock with just a change of tires. The owner of ASR kept changing the rules to things like no minimum weight, different motors etc and killed the class within a month.

Slots need a scale looking car people can throw in their box and not have to touch between races other then clean tires and oil it up. Take it out put it on the track and be competitive.


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#21 JHMerriman

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 06:14 PM

They're some of my favorite cars to race. They handle surprisingly well for the weight and grip level they have.
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#22 rvec

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:54 AM

Here at Electron Raceway we have several classes based upon Scaleauto, Scholer, Slotting Plus and Plafit chassis. We use much more powerful motors and custom side and front pans and these cars rock. All of the chassis are very similar in design Out of the box, the Scaleauto cars run great and look great as well. Some say they are underpowered but I think think they are quick enough out of the box. Besides, the stock motors lead to fewer wrecks that cause body damage. I have a couple in stock form and I am happy with them. The only problem is that they are expensive - $150 plus. 


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#23 Shruska55

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 11:40 PM

When I came back to racing in February after a 50 year hiatus, I wanted to get into scratchbuilding everything. Just like I remembered doing in the late 1960s. I still do. However, the guys at Tyler Slot Cars in Tyler Texas introduced me to ScaleAuto 1/24 scale cars.  I resisted at first, but now I'm hooked. We all fill our need for speed with our scratchbuilt cars, but when we want to have a race where it's the driver's skill more than the speed of the car, we've been racing the ScaleAuto.  It's just Fun. In particular when the top finishers are all on the same lap and within striking distance as the timer runs down. That's my opinion.

 

It's unfair to compare a scratchbuilt anything with a stock. except for wheels and gears, RTR of any manufacturer. The RTR class is about tuning rather than building as a previous post stated. To make the class work and to make it Fun AND competitive for anyone/everyone, the shop must absolutely limit modifications. There are enough other classes available for those who want, no NEED, to tinker.

 

The RTR cars can be pricey, yes. However, a $23 set of rear tires  seem to last forever. The motors do not run hot even with extended lap heats. The chassis are darn near indestructible and bodies are highly detailed replicas of real racing machines. Those hard plastic bodies take a real beating. Trust me on that. In the end, even if raced in demo derby heats (not recommended of course), these cars hold their shape and run....run...run...

 

Allen Smith out at the Scale Racing Center, Tacoma, WA has a set of rules that he runs by. If a shop owner is thinking about running this class, I'd suggest getting in contact with him. He's very accessible by phone and is very willing to share his knowledge of the class. He's also happy to provide the rules of his many model racing events. It doesn't hurt that he is also the US supplier for multiple model racing products. in fact, he's running a Klasse 1 F1 event this May 31, 2020 weekend.


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#24 rvec

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 10:07 AM

I agree with just about everything Scott says. When we started running scale cars at Electron, Scaleauto was not available. We selected the Scholer (no longer available) which has a similar chassis design. I think that if we were starting again, I would consider "stock" Scaleauto with Alan Smith's rules. Alan runs these cars with only Scaleauto parts and virtually no modifications. Scott is right, racing is very close.

 

For a commercial operation, I think would start with the H&R. These are inexpensive with no "suspension". As a track owner, I would build several with side pans of .062 brass (and a front pan of .031 brass which renders the chassis flush front to back). I would then cut down the front wheels to height of 1.0 inches (This yields a .055 inch clearance). The rears could be cut down as well or the guys could just run them as is. After a while they rear would get down to from .062 to .055 clearance where the chassis will handle quite well. In addition to the side pans, a half to one inch slab of lead should probably be added near the guide flag. Weight tuning might involve a couple of layers.

 

At first to get things going, I would build a couple of demo cars for folks to try out. I would likely offer complete cars with painted and decaled bodies to get the class up and running. An alternative would be to offer the cars with painted bodies and let the customer decal the bodies themselves.

 

As far as a the class of cars, I think it depends on your customer's desires. Late model NASCAR might be the best place to start.  They have large wheel openings that might not require much radiusing to fit the rear wheels out to the edge of the body. Trans-Am or muscle cars might also be winners.

 

 

 

I would run these with the stock motors at first. Then might run with the ProSlot 16D or maybe the Hawk 7. You would have to try these configurations out to see what works best on your track.

 

After the guys get the hardbody bug, I would see purchase a couple of Scaleautos for demo purposes and see what the interest level would be. Again, I would gauge customer interest to select a class. I have a Viper and it seems to be one of the better handling cars. The GT2/GT3 cars might be a good place to start.

 

Let the customers decide if they want to spend the extra money for a really good RTR car or are they satisfied with the H&Rs


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#25 Shruska55

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 11:59 AM

Good ideas Rich. and yes. Open the doors and let the customer decide. As a suggestion, a business may want to invest in a group of the Home Series Scaleauto or reasonably priced BRM models. Then, sponsor a race series such as what is described as follows.

 

Tyler Slot Cars club has had what is called IROC races in the past and we are gearing up for one soon. The club track is 4 lanes and it has a selection of Professor Motor controllers for use by guests and new members. The IROC races are simple: 4 Scaleauto/BRM cars and 4 controllers dedicated, one each, per lane. The 4 cars are all set up the same. Either RTR or race tuned by members and teched. The controllers are stock, out of the box.

 

Heats are run, then during lane change, the only the driver moves. Not the kit. So, the driver is now driving a different car with a different controller on a different lane. To make it even more interesting, the lane change is staggered so the driver isn't on an adjacent lane.

 

This puts a Win down to the driver's skill. Sit outs occur with a volumn of racers, but then, marshals are needed too, eh? LOL. An 8 lane track would just add to the fun.

 

As to whether drivers need to be enticed to run slower cars, in the heat of the race, with plastic on plastic rubbing, I don't notice the lack of King track speed. The focal point is my car in the crowd, trying to stay in the slot, to pass and keep from being passed. In other word, it's in the moment race dynamics between equally matched cars with everyone in the hunt for the checkered flag based on the driver's skill.

 

Have no doubt, as long as there is are fast tracks available, a racer's need for speed and that ultimate fast lap will be with me. But I've come to really enjoy the thrill of the tight competition model racing provides.

 

I can't wait for the next IROC to roll at Tyler Slot Cars

 

BTW: We are all waiting for DSC to open over in Dallas for track racing on a regular schedule. The DSC track gives us our four classes of speed track driving too. Hey Mayor of Dallas, let our people race!!! I'd even wear a mask for that....


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